- What about backups (if for some reason, Evernote was not accessible)?
- Aren't you worried about security/identity theft/etc.?
Backing up paperless data
In all the time I've been using Evernote (well over a year) there has never been a time when I couldn't access my data. Evernote seems to have better uptime than a lot of other cloud-services I've used. In my day job, I'm a software developer and I know how difficult it can be to keep servers up and running. I give Evernote high marks for this so far. When they do have an outage, they announce it through several channels, among them:
- Twitter (@evernote, @evernotestatus)
- My data is not stored directly on my computer. At home, my data is not stored directly on my laptop but on a 1 TB external hard disk. If something happens to my computer, the data on the external disk is still safe and sound.
- My data is also backed up to the cloud. I use a product called IDrive which allows me to backup up to 5 machines and my WordPress website. The software works on Windows, Macintosh, etc. It runs nightly and I get an email when the backup is complete for each machine. I pay for a premium service that allows me to backup 500 GB of data. I think it costs me $150/year.
- Included in that cloud backup is the /user/[username]/Application Support/Evernote folder on my Mac. This is a bunch of local meta-data for Evernote that I can easily restore if I ever need to.
- Twice a year (usually 4th of July weekend and New Years) I use the "Export Notes From [Notebook]..." function to export all my notes (and related attachments) to an XML file that I store in a folder on the external hard disk (and which in turn is backed up to the cloud.)
- On my iPad, I have enabled the "Offline Notebook" feature for what I call my "Paperless Filing Cabinet" notebook, which is where most of my documents go. This allows me to access the notes and attachments in the Evernote app, even if have no Internet connection.
Data Security, Identity Theft, etc.
I get asked a lot about this. The truth is I don't worry about this much. That might be naive on my part, but I have learned over the years that a few simple practices go a very long way to protecting data and preventing things like identify theft. Here are some of the practices that I use. I understand that some people feel more strongly about this than I do and again, you have to do what makes you most comfortable.
- I always use SSL when transferring data. Evernote uses SSL when data is transferred over the Internet to their servers. That means the data is encrypted over the wire.
- I always use strong passwords. A strong password is one that uses a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols and does not contain an English word. It is also long, more than 12 characters at least.
- I change my password frequently.
- If I feel like I need additional security, I can encrypt documents using some other encryption application before loading them into Evernote.
Not much. I do have a rider on my homeowners insurance that protects me against identity theft and I've made sure that rider is adequate to cover any possibly losses. But the truth is I'm not worried that it will come to that, just as I don't worry that someone will break into my house.
So there you have it! How I backup my paperless data and how I protect myself against unwanted intrusions. Have at it! Discuss! How do you handle backups? How do you protect your data? Are there better practices than what I've got here? I'm always interested in learning better practices and techniques.